BOIL. A collection of pus under the skin, with swelling and redness of the skin. For causes, diagnosis, constitutional treatment, etc., see THE STANDARD PHYSICIAN, page 276, and under CARBUNCLES, page 3o3.
Treatment.—To prevent the formation of boils, use application of ice, or apply a plaster consisting of salicylic acid and soap plaster, of each drachm, and diachylon plaster, 2 drachms. If the boil is well formed, it is best to apply hot poultices. As such may be used linseed (see ABDOMINAL PAINS) or hop poultices, to be renewed as soon as they become cool. A hop poultice is prepared by adding a handful of dried hops to :1 pint of water, and boiling until the half-pint is reduced to a gill, then stir and mix with it enough Indian meal to thicken it. This mixture is then placed between the folds of a cloth or on a piece of flannel or linen and applied to the boil.
Instead of hot poultices take a flannel dipped in a hot solution of boric acid (2 per cent.) and water, wring out, and apply as warm as can be endured, and renew when cold. As a substitute for boric acid, take corrosive subli
mate, in a solution of to i,000, and apply hot. A poultice of kaolin is also very good, prepared as any other poultice. Or kaolin powder may be dusted .over the boil. The kaolin, as well as the corrosive sublimate solution, should be bought at a druggist's. When the boil is ripe, the pus should be pressed out with clean hands, or if necessary to open the boil, this should be done %%itli a needle which has been heated over an alcohol Ilame. The best treat ment is to have the boil freely incised by a surgeon. The tendency to boil formation may in part be counteracted by sleep, the avoidance of starchy foods, the taking of soups, and the internal administration of the compound syrup of hypophosphites which contains calcium. Calcium sulphide and sulphur are also useful. Constipation especially is to lie guarded against, and too much exercise or too frequent bathing avoided.